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How to Keep Spiders as Pets

Spiders can make fascinating pets. Here are a few steps to get you started keeping spiders.


Step 1: Catch a spider

Spiders are all around us, indoors and out, so they’re not hard to find. Some species can bite and a few are venomous. Learn about dangerous spiders in your area before heading out. It’s easy to safely catch a spider by using a small jar. Gently coax it into the jar using the lid. Spiders will eat each other, so keep only one per jar.

Step 2: Prepare a cage

Large spiders do well in the inexpensive plastic terrariums available from pet stores. Smaller ones can be kept in jars or plastic containers if air holes are drilled into the lid or sides. Be sure the holes are small enough to prevent escape.

Potting soil makes good cover for the cage bottom. Sticks, dead leaves or artificial plants provide structure for hiding, climbing and webbing.

Step 3: Water

Depending on the size of the spider, anything from a plastic bottle cap to a small bowl can serve as a water dish. Spiders also drink water sprayed on webbing, but you should never allow the cage to become damp.

Step 4: Feeding

Offer insect prey once or twice a week. Crickets are available from pet shops, or you can collect insects outdoors if no insecticides have been sprayed in the area.

Step 5: Observing

Watch your spider and take notes on its behavior. You won’t believe what happens in the spider’s web until you’ve visited it yourself!


Not all spiders do well in captivity. Active hunters are usually easier to keep than web builders. Here are a few that make good pets.

Tarantulas: Some species exceed 10 inches in legspan. They’re by far the most popular pet spiders and can be bought in pet stores.

Wolf Spiders: Some can be more than three inches in legspan. Large specimens do best in terrariums with lots of floor space.

Jumping Spiders: Although small and rarely exceeding half an inch, their jumping ability is amazing. Many species are brightly colored and can easily be kept in jars.

Fishing Spiders: In captivity, these large spiders appreciate vertically arranged pieces of bark for climbing. They’re very fast, so use caution when capturing them.

Grass Spiders: These spiders build funnel-shaped webs in grass, bushes and on buildings. In captivity, they will build extensive webs inside their cage.

LEARN MORE: Click here to see photos of a spider expert’s seven favorite spiders

52 Comments on How to Keep Spiders as Pets

  1. By the way, my wolf spider is very large (legspan is about 3 – 3.5 inches in diameter, body is maybe about 1.5 inches long)and from Michigan. Thanks again!

  2. eli (SHARP SHOOTER) // October 30, 2009 at 2:48 pm // Reply


  3. me myself and I // October 29, 2009 at 4:11 pm // Reply

    I found a cool spider not sure if its male or female. But I think its a wolf spider.

  4. when do I let it go?

  5. hey if a spyder iz starvin wuld it eat itzelf?

  6. spider fighter // October 7, 2009 at 8:31 pm // Reply

    i caught like 15 just 3 hours ago and i put soil some stick in some plastic cups for now my dad said hell let them all go if i mess with them any more so tomorrow ill feed them if there are still alive they are in a cooler all next to each other i wonder if they will survive

  7. spiderfreak // October 5, 2009 at 4:59 pm // Reply

    well girly girl you probably wont have to feed it for a few more days LithiumHearted it wont escape as long as you keep the lid on and when you make sure when you feed it its at the bottom eightlegs all it needs is some leaves for web and when its done making its web then give it small bugs like crickets framirez just crack the lid open a little bit and pop the bug in any more questions just ask sorry if my other replys werent sooner

  8. Hi, i have 2 golden orb weavers that are both pregnant and i just moved 1 to a cage and working on one for the other. I was just wondering how many eggs they will have because their abdomens are huge.

  9. my spider already made a web but the web is on the lid how am I going to put all the things in without her escaping?

  10. look! what happend my spider killed his 100 babies his crazy!

  11. i just caught a wolf spider i put it in a jar with sticks and leaves after 2days it gave birth of 200eggs

  12. I really don’t like spiders that much, but I may try this. I have a lot of spiders around my back yard.

  13. just caught wat i think is a grass spider i live in south dakota so its eather that or a hobo spider an it looks alot more like a grass spider so wondering what i need to keep it alive

  14. LithiumHearted // August 29, 2009 at 10:29 pm // Reply

    I just caught a wolf spider off of the top of my garage door and i have it in a glass pickle jar with leaves, dirt, and a bottle cap of water. would it be possible for him to escape? my mom won’t stop bugging me about it.

  15. hey spider freak um how long before i have to feed my spidar again if i feed him this morning

  16. Just caught a spider while painting the house (Scared the living daylights out of me)not sure what it is yet but he ate the grasshopper in less than 5 minutes that i got him just dont hold him an shake the jar if he is hiding he will come out on his own. Like grasshoppers for sure and just try local bugs around your house because thats probaly what they have been eating this whole time. good luck <3

  17. i got a monkey spider!

  18. spiderfreak // August 17, 2009 at 8:55 pm // Reply

    to tanner: well if your wolf spider isn’t eating then it might not be hungry but if its abdomen is small then it just isn’t eating probably because it is scared what i suggest you do is let it go and try to find a new one. to pookie: i think u shouldn’t worry because jumping spiders arent like wolf spiders where the baby wolf spiders climb onto the mothers back jumping spiders can just be kept and when they hatch its fine u dont have to feed them yet, when the start to become cannibals then give them pinheads and fruit flys if any one has anymore questions i can help u with them

  19. cool

  20. I have a wolf spider he’s not eating what should i do?

  21. I have a bold jumping spider brood of about 75 babies that are about to emerge from the cocoon. I haven’t seen the mom though in over a week. How can I feed the little ones?

  22. spiderfreak // July 15, 2009 at 12:40 pm // Reply

    hi everyone i love spiders,all of them. i keep at different sorts of spiders and know how to care for them. i even know how to catch the ” fast” ones(word from other people) i currently have 6 wolf spiders 1 steadora 1 green lynx 3 golden orb weavers 1 HUGE crab spider and 1 HUGE funnel web (grass spider) i even have a chilean rose hair tarantula i could probably answer your questions because im a spiderfreak and ALOT of people think im crazy

    • Smokethecoyotereal // May 12, 2020 at 6:10 pm // Reply

      What type of spider do I have, and how should I take care of it? It’s brown, with a dark yellow marking. And small. How do I know it’s gender? It’s the only one I’ve seen, since I’m new in spider keeping.

  23. Archeopteryx // June 26, 2009 at 6:42 am // Reply

    I like spiders, lizards and snakes, but my relatives are all creeped out by them.
    One time a Californian King snake (harmless) got into our garage, my dad chased it away with a shovel.
    As for spiders, I’ve actually seen a jumping spider when I lived in Oregon

  24. I keep jumpers. I had two females that laid eggs. Now they’re hatched and a pain to feed.

  25. I THINK i found a yellow sack spider in my household, i found it on a leather sofa, i caught it with a small fish net thing 😛 its fairly intresting, i just got it so i dont really know much about it

  26. grass spider // June 15, 2009 at 3:59 pm // Reply

    i have two grass spiders their fun to watch and hold but they are extremely hard to catch very easy to keep i use a food container for a cage

  27. fascinated // June 13, 2009 at 4:39 pm // Reply

    i caught a parson spider in my room the other day and finally got a cleaned out glass jar. filled it with some local dirt, a tiny pine cone, some a couple pebbles and leaves, and a piece of semi-soaked sponge. She’s really awesome, though I’m not sure what i should feed her since i want to keep it simple–local bugs.. ants? rollie pollies? suggestions? haha

  28. CHihuahuaspider953:Wolf spiders arent poisonous but can bite. Only when threatened. good pets good luck

  29. Hi i have a wolf spider, how can you tell if its a male or female?

  30. I have 8 grass spiders ,and they like to eat grasshoppers!!!

  31. I have a blak widdo as a pet

  32. can we keep also american hose spiders they look small though.

  33. can you keep a daddy long legs?

  34. I think daddylonglegs are the best species of spider you can have.

  35. ilove spiders . i have 2 spiders .a black widow and a wolf spider .people think im crazy for having a black widow for a pet even for my age [12] but shes better than a dog.

  36. spidercollector32 // March 29, 2009 at 9:32 am // Reply

    I have had jumping spiders my whole life! they are very cool to watch especially when feeding. I’ve kept wolf spiders also but they are still not as cool as jumping spiders. Once I had a daring jumping spider in a 2 gallon tank with a wolf spider…. The wolf spider was 3 inches and got eatin by the 1 inch jumping spider… The jumping spider almost got bit but got away with it. I highly recomend jumping spiders as pets as long as it is in a tank at least 2 gallon depending on the size.

  37. We have five tarantulas. They are fun to watch and easy to take care of. We feed them crickets from the pet store.

  38. I love spiders

  39. garden spider is the best pet i’ve ever had! it has never bitten me and the way it wraps the insects is really interesting to watch! gud luck to spider lover!!!!

  40. Battleaxe dude // March 8, 2009 at 8:00 pm // Reply

    my mother REALLY doesnt want me to get a pet spider. even if i tell her its harmless she is creeped out.PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!

  41. Just wanted to mention that really, a dish of water is probably a bad idea, particularly for smaller species. Apart from fishing spiders, which live most of their lives near and partially on the water, spiders can easily get ‘sucked in’ to a pool of water by the surface tension, and drown.

    A better water source is a small piece of moist sponge (preferably new, and never one that’s been used with chemicals), a moist cotton ball, or the commercially available ‘water pillows’ used to give water to crickets (you can buy these at petshops, but honestly, sponges are cheaper).

    Spiders make fun and fascinating pets (especially jumping spiders; they’ve got a lot of character), and it’d be a real shame to accidentally drown one =(

  42. chuahuaspider953, wolf spiders are not poisonous but they may bite if you make them feel threatened. It needs a cage about 15×30 cm. Hope this helps!

  43. if anyone has any questions on spiders i can answer it

    • Smokethecoyotereal // May 12, 2020 at 6:05 pm // Reply

      What type of spider do I have? It’s brown, small, and has this dark yellow on its back. I found it hiding under lots of rocks, so how should I make its enclosure? What should I feed it? Keep its water in?

  44. I caught a black spider yesterday but I dont know what kind it is. It is black and about a centimeter.

  45. I just caught a YELLOW SAC SPIDER. It’s going around and around really fast in its plastic container. I love taking care of spiders! 🙂 Thank- you for the information!
    -SPIDERGIRL age 4

  46. i have a wolf spider and she is 6 months old. I have upgraded her enclosure 3 times. First one was little coz I didn’t know it was a wolf spider haha. Sheds skin often. Currently 2.5-3 cms atm. Just started getting really distinguished markings which look really tribal. Eating about a cricket a day ???? Not sure if it’s gonna shed another skin or it’s just a glutton hahaha. currently have an enclosure 20×34 and 28-30cms in height. I’m thinking I need to go larger but not sure what size to go to so I won’t have to do it again. Do they borrow ?? or just like leafage to hide under?

  47. Wolf spiders arnt poisoneus and all the spider needs is a small terrarium no smaller than 15cm by 30cm

  48. daveid gfdacsxdcaxswwq // January 2, 2009 at 5:47 pm // Reply

    i hav a steatoda spider that takes care of her egg sac she lives in a jar but theres nothin wrong because there webs are like the sam as black widows and she eats purfectly well and i have a stratagy wen it comes to spider i colect depending on the seasons

  49. AERFHYT5fgjsxrtopz // December 17, 2008 at 2:22 pm // Reply

    i might get one.

  50. Chihuahuaspider953 // December 16, 2008 at 8:03 pm // Reply

    Okay I just found out what type of spider it is. It is a wolf spider. But I need help still. I still don’t know if it is poisnus, what sized cage it needs, and now I am worried that it will bite me. If you know any of the questions answers that I am asking please type them right away. Thankyou

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